We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hotel south of Death Valley

Vancouver, Canada
4 posts
Save Topic
Hotel south of Death Valley

We will be approaching Death valley from the south (coming from Mojave Desert Nation Preserve) and want to spend the night somewhere just outside the park. I was thinking Tecopa or Shoshone.

Any one got any recommendations of the best place in this area?

Mission Viejo...
Level Contributor
1,887 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

How about the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel? http://www.amargosa-opera-house.com/index.htm Absolutely unique in the world. Unfortunately the matriarch and founder Marta Becket has stopped personally performing every weekend but it's still something you won't ever forget. She does do a "sitting down show" which you should try to see.

Buy tickets in advance; tourbuses show up and fill the place quickly.

If this doesn't appeal to you, the Longstreet Hotel / Casino is a mid-size motel about 15 miles from the Opera House in Amargosa Valley, NV.

Baker really doesn't have too much of note for lodging or dining, IMO.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Dusseldorf
Level Contributor
3,248 posts
643 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Try China Ranch Bed and Breakfast. We have stayed there and it is very nice. There are only two rooms, but the woman running it is very friendly and does a wonderful breakfast, not to mention dinner if you are interested. It is connected to the China Ranch date farm.

ZB

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,303 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Is there some reason why you want to stay outside the park?

When you come out of Mojave NP, you'll be at Baker, which hardly anyone recommends for a stopover unless you absolutely can't go any farther (any time I see it, I can usually muster up the strength to go farther). It's little more than a glorified highway rest stop, one main drag consisting of motels, gas stations, and fast food joints (a unique one, though, is the Mad Greek, if you want fast food with a Mediterranean accent). Baker's big whoop-de-do is the world's tallest thermometer, 134' high to honor the record high temperature in Death Valley. It also has a state prison run by a private contractor (minimum security; anyone who has seen Baker can figure out why).

Shoshone is a tiny town, basically owned by one pioneer family. It has one motel, one store, one gas station with some of the highest prices consistently in the area, a couple of restaurants, and a nice little museum with Death Valley and regional exhibits.

The Amargosa Opera House and Hotel is a quaint historic site, as kenish described. The town has no services except the hotel and opera house (this is not "Aida" or "Carmen"; check the website for more details), and a cafe. There is no gas station, grocery store, post office, school, church, library, doctor, dentist, etc. Death Valley Junction is a ghost town, a borax mining settlement of the 1920s, and a fun place if you get into the historic spirit and you can survive without satin sheets, velvet pillow shams with mink trim, and toilet seats carved from rare exotic woods.

But back to my original question: is there some reason you won't be going right to the park? Baker is about 120 miles from Furnace Creek. Shoshone is almost exactly midway. From Shoshone, you can enter the park either via Badwater or Death Valley Junction. The distances are almost identical. Both routes are very scenic; the one you take could depend on how long you plan to be in the park, what you want to do there, and where you're going next (Las Vegas, Yosemite, Los Angeles, San Francisco--it makes a difference in the itinerary I would recommend).

But the main point is that I think you should maximize your time in the park if possible. The only reason I can think of for an overnight stop between Mojave and DV is if it is very late and you can't see the scenery.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,303 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Longstreet is a hotel-casino, but it also doesn't have a lot to recommend it. It's out in the middle of nowhere, although Death Valley Junction is ony about 7-8 miles away. It's about 40 miles from Furnace Creek.

Amargosa Valley is not really a town, but a rural district consisting of far-flung farms and ranches and an occasional small business. Other than the hotel itself, there's not much in the immediate area. Some people like it, but I would send people to DV Junction and the Amargosa Hotel, because it's a place of historic interest and there's something unique to see.

.

Vancouver, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Thanks for the advice.

The idea behind staying outside the park is that we may be getting there quite late and the cost of staying at Furnace Creek (although we will be staying there the next night).

I thought that it would be just as easy to enter the park early the next morning. I doubt that we will stay in Baker to cut down on the driving the next day.

We are going in early October and so there won't be any opera at Amargosa Opera House.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Dusseldorf
Level Contributor
3,248 posts
643 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

We have done extensive looking and staying at places south of the park in order to explore more of the south without a lot of driving. The only place we can recommend is the Date Ranch just south of Tecopa. Your next best bet, as Frisco says, is to head for the Furnace Creek Ranch. The driving time from Tecopa up to FCR is about one hour, maybe just a bit longer at night. tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g33162-d288823-…

ZB

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Dusseldorf
Level Contributor
3,248 posts
643 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Sorry! I just did some net homework, and the China Ranch Inn has been CLOSED! The above website is for a new venture the old owner of the Ranch Inn has evidently put together. We have not stayed there and it appears to be a kind of hostel. Sorry for the confusion.

ZB

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,303 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

If you would be driving into Death Valley at night, I would opt for staying somewhere outside the park. The main reason is that you'd miss a lot of the beautiful scenery at night. Shoshone, Tecopa, or Death Valley Junction would all work. DVJ is the closest. Tecopa is about 70 miles and Shoshone 60 to Furnace Creek. All these roads are two-lane, undivided, and paved.

From Tecopa or SHoshone, you can go in either via 1) DVJ and Hwy 190; or 2) Jubilee Pass and Badwater Road.

If you take #1, the first main site of interest in the park will be Dante's View, about 14 miles from 190 on a paved road. It's the premier panorama of the Valley and a must-see. Also on this route are 20 Mule Team Canyon and Zabriskie Point.

At the junction of 190 and Badwater Road, where the Furnace Creek Inn is, you can turn left to see Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, Artist's Drive, and Golden Canyon. These are in the first 17 miles with Badwater as the southernmost main place of interest, and you can take them in the order given as a north-south-north loop trip to avoid repeatedly crossing the road. You can do this either before or after checking in at the Ranch, which is less than a mile north of this junction.

If you take #2, you'll be on a less traveled, tranquil route. From the park boundary to Badwater is about 60 miles, with sweeping views of the valley and mountains. This stretch is more about magnificent scenery than specific places of interest. You can see all the sights mentioned above, but in a different order because you won't be backtracking.

If you are going to Las Vegas after DV, I suggest entering on Badwater Road. Then you can see Zabriskie and Dante's on the way out of the park rather than going in.

If your next destination is, say, Yosemite or the coast, I would sent you in via DVJ and 190. The reason is that Dante's and Zabriskie are right on the way, and you only have to go 17 miles down Badwater Road for the main sights. Otherwise, if you came in via Badwater, it would be about a 50-mile roundtrip detour to Dante's.

I hope all this makes sense. If you have a map of the park, it's easier to visualize.

If your next destination is Las Vegas, be sure to venture to the west side of the park to see the Devil's Cornfield and Sand Dunes, and maybe take a hike at Mosaic Canyon. It's one of the most beautiful and interesting walks in the park and you don't need to go far or be super-fit to see some of the unusual and colorful formations. (The same is true of Golden Canyon).

If you're headed to Yosemite or the coast next, you'll pass those west side sites on the way out of the park.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,303 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

This is what comes up when I google China Ranch Inn.

delightshotspringsresort.com/ranch-house-inn…

The place at the China Ranch is called Cynthia's, and it has guest rooms in antique trailers (Airstreams, I'll guess), a hostel, and tipis.

http://www.discovercynthias.com/

Also, near the hamlet of Tecopa is Tecopa Hot Springs, which has campgrounds and motels with mineral soaking pools. Some of the pools are available for day use.

Vancouver, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Hotel south of Death Valley

Thanks for the detailed suggestions. We heading to Yosemite after DV and will probably head in on 190 and do the sights in the order that you suggest.

We will probably got to Scottys Castle the next day - as well as visiting the other places around Stovepipe Wells. Is it better to go back south to 190 and west to Lone Pine, or east to Beatty then over 296 to Big Pine?

Get answers to your questions about Death Valley National...